Gas supplies to power plant rise 13% in June; capacity utilisation up 29.4%

Power plants got imported gas supplies of 10.41 MMSCMD in April this year, up from 8.9 MMSCMD in the same month a year ago.
Gas supplies to power plants in the country rose by over 13 per cent to 36.16 million metric standard cubic metre per day (MMSCMD) in June this year from 31.95 MMSCMD in the same month a year ago, showing improvement in the beleaguered segment.

However, the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) data showed that total plant load factor (PLF) or capacity utilisation of the gas base power plants in the country rose to just 29.4 per cent in June 2020 from 25 per cent in the same month last year.

An expert said the consumption of gas by the power sector has improved mainly due to competitive imported gas prices.

Data showed that imported gas supplies to power plants rose to 15.78 MMSCMD in June from 12.26 in the same month last year and from 13.02 MMSCMD in May this year.

Power plants got imported gas supplies of 10.41 MMSCMD in April this year, up from 8.9 MMSCMD in the same month a year ago.

Another expert said that due to economical gas prices in the international market, there could be further rise in the consumption by power plants in the country, especially during monsoon when coal loading is lesser.
The expert was of the view that gas consumption also increased due to lower coal loading in the post lockdown period.

The government had imposed lockdown from March 25 to contain the coronavirus spread in the country.

Gas supplies to power plants in the country increased by 11.65 per cent to 104.78 MMSCMD in April-June from 93.84 MMSCMD in the same quarter last year.

However, data showed that PLF of gas-based power plants in the country rose to just 28.6 per cent in April-June this fiscal from 24.8 per cent in the same quarter last year.

In November 2018, a high-level committee had given a host of suggestions to address issues related to the stressed power assets in the country in its report.

Majority of the recommendations of the committee were considered and implemented by the central government, except related to gas-based power plants.

Earlier, the government had given subsidy to buy expensive imported gas for running power plants.

The panel recommended to revive the scheme to provide subsidy to buy imported gas for running power plants in the country in view of reduced domestic production.

It had said, "Ministry of Power and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas may jointly frame a scheme for revival of gas-based power plant on the lines of earlier e-bid RLNG (Regasified Liquefied Natural Gas) scheme (supported by Power System Development Fund).


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